Melbourne Theatre Company and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance are partnering to present Longhouse: Melbourne, an evening of conversation about diversity and representation on stage and screen on Thursday 4 October at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler.
Four of Melbourne’s most dynamic storytellers, Kim Ho (Mirror’s Edge),Michele Lee (Going Down), Natesha Somasundaram (MTC NEXT STAGE Writer-in-Residence) and Jean Tong(Hungry Ghosts) will join a panel discussion facilitated by Ra Chapman (MTC/CAAP Director’s Initiative participant), together sharing their experiences as Asian-Australian writers in Victoria.
MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said ‘We are proud to host this important event, furthering our relationship with CAAP and opening up discussions about diversity and representation with some of Melbourne’s most talented young theatre-makers. Through this forum we continue our commitment to fostering meaningful change that will have a long-lasting, positive impact for MTC, and in turn the whole industry.’
CAAP Executive Director Annette Shun-Wah said ‘It makes perfect sense that our first Longhouse in Melbourne is hosted by MTC, with whom we’ve developed a strong partnership over the past couple of years with high-level acting workshops and CAAP Directors Initiative, helping to train Asian-Australian actors and directors for the main stage. Through Longhouse, the wider artist community can gather to share, learn and collaborate on important conversations around cultural diversity in Australian theatre.’
CAAP’s Longhouse is a networking and information sharing program that has cultivated a solid and thriving Asian-Australian performance community in NSW since 2015. This will be the first presentation of Longhouse in Victoria.
The panel discussion, including audio of questions and comments from the audience, will be live-streamed on the CAAP Facebook page.
Date & Time
Thursday 4 October, 6pm
Southbank Theatre, The Lawler
03 8688 0800
Kim Ho is a playwright, performer and dramaturg based in Melbourne. In 2016 he graduated from a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne. His short film The Language of Lovescreened at film festivals around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival. Kim was the 2013 recipient of the Besen Family Artist Programme, Writer’s Development at Malthouse Theatre. In 2017, his play Mirror’s Edge received a reading in Cybec Electric at Melbourne Theatre Company and a production at Union House Theatre. It subsequently won Sydney Theatre Company’s Patrick White Playwright’s Award. A passionate advocate for marginalised voices, Kim aims to champion culturally diverse Australian writing. He is currently undertaking a Masters of Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of Arts.
Michele Lee is an Asian-Australian playwright and theatre-maker working across stage, audio and live art. Her work is largely narrative-focussed, in comedy and drama, and explores stories of women, otherness and found families. She has been commissioned by Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Arts House, Next Wave Festival, Darwin Festival, Platform Youth Theatre and St Martins Youth Arts Centre. Current works and works-in-development include Single Ladies (Red Stitch) and Security. Previous works include An assistant’s notes for a pandemic (Arts House Refuge project, Hypothetical) Going Down (Malthouse Theatre, STC), Rice (Queensland Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company), Off Centre (STC), The Naked Self (Arts House, FOLA) and Talon Salon(Next Wave Festival, You Are Here, Darwin Festival). Rice won the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and an Australian Writers’ Guild award, and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Nick Enright Prize. Her memoir, Banana Girl, is published by Transit Lounge. Michele has been in residence at The Playwrights Centre (USA), Radio National and in Laos (Asialink residency).
Natesha Somasundaram writes viciously funny stories that are sometimes sad and often weird. She is currently a resident playwright at the Melbourne Theatre Company and graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 2017. Natesha’s writing has been developed through the LOTUS Playwriting Project, an initiative of Playwriting Australia and CAAP. She has had work presented at the 2018 and 2017 MTCCybec Electric play readings, the 2016 National Play Festival, 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival and the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. As a screenwriter, Natesha is currently writing an episode for the upcoming ABC series The Unlisted, and was a writer for season 2 of Get Krack!n (ABC). After a sell-out season at La Mama explorations 2017, Natesha resurrected her inaugural independent production as writer, performer and co-director, Jeremy and Lucas buy a Fucking House, for a second sold out season at the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Jean Tong is a Melbourne-based writer whose work, tonally best described as ‘wry outrage’, makes explosive statements using dark humour and vivid imagery. Her previous work includes Hungry Ghosts (Melbourne Theatre Company), Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit(Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne International Comedy Festival), and Anti Hero (Malthouse Theatre, Monash CTP). She has also presented at the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and been published in Peril Magazine, Meanjin (Spike), and Witness Performance. In 2018, she was selected for Screen Australia’s ‘Developing the Developer’ workshop, and for Film Victoria’s TV and Online Concept lab (Plot Twist).